This year's flu of the year has made its appearance and with it, media buzz about vaccines, normal treatments, such as hand washing, and so on. Most "experts" have neglected one basic, free, non-invasive, yet therapeutic modality: mind over flu matter.

Metaphysical healer Louise L. Hay says that the mental cause of influenza is "Response to mass negativity and beliefs; fear; and belief in statistics." This is quite interesting in light of the media's use of all three: statistics and mass negativity in order to create fear. For those susceptible to such fears, any flu strain would find a welcoming home.

The suggested antidote is the affirmation: "I am beyond group beliefs or the calendar. I am free from all congestion and influence."

For respiratory ailments in general, Hay states that the underlying cause is the fear of taking in life fully. Another way to say this is basic insecurity, the ultimate basis of most fear. The suggested affirmation in this case: "I am safe. I love my life".

Hay teaches that everything that happens to us happens for a reason, and that our thought patterns and patterned behaviors affect our physical well-being. The body, mind and spirit must be in balance for good health to result. Likewise, every person also can participate in his or her own healing, if this balance is maintained.

In Hay's paradigm, the mental thought patterns that create the most disease in our bodies are criticism, anger, resentment, and guilt. Who hasn't sensed a physical reaction when dealing with each of these behaviors? If experienced often and repeatedly, the stress on the body eventually erupts in some form of disease or ill effect. Her way of countering the four thought patterns is through affirmations.

Besides being an avenue to the creation of a healthy balance, affirmations are one way to combat fears that bring on or invite illness. See the related articles [here and here] on how the brain can invite and/or cause disease - or heal it.

Reducing the stress level is critical, because it is the stress which depresses the immune system. The technique of such positive self-talk not only reduces stress, but there is evidence that repeating such affirmations can actually re-train the brain in a manner of speaking, actually changing the brain's chemistry. Combined with meditation, the results are enhanced. Those who practice EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) with their affirmations might achieve even better results.

The online journal Psychosomatic Medicine reported on a study that showed that meditation increased antibodies to a flu virus. An eight-week clinical training program in mindfulness meditation was given to some office employees; the control group did not meditate. After exposure to a flu virus, it was found that the meditating group had produced more antibodies than the control group.

Another finding was that the meditating group had significant increases in positive affect, as indicated by left-sided anterior activation in their brains, while the control group did not.

In addition to meditation, there are other activities which can reduce stress and are associated with healthier immune systems. Tai Chi, a Chinese tradition of meditation in intentional movement, has been studied in this regard. A UCLA pilot study showed a positive immune response for a group who practiced Tai Chi.

In another study, 50 older adults in their 70's were divided into a group who engaged in Tai Chi classes with meditation three hours a week, and a control group who did not. The blood of all participants was tested for a five month period. The Tai Chi group experienced much higher antibody responses against the flu virus than the comparison group did.

Other studies have borne out the effectiveness of mind healing techniques to increase immunity. Another study in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that a "Positive Emotional Style" protected the person from the cold or flu viruses to which they were exposed in the study. Blood samples revealed that both groups were infected with the viruses, but the negative group showed more symptoms and also reported more serious symptoms than the positive group. It appears that the positive group's immune system put up a better attack against the same viral invaders.

Another study showed that a group of goal-oriented people had a lower level of stress hormones in their bodies than did a group who felt lack of control over a future event.

The advantages of practicing a mindful approach to immunity building as a deterrent to any kind of influenza virus is its low cost (free), its lack of harmful side effects, its effectiveness against any strain of virus, and its availability to all regardless of location. Its only side effects are an increase in well-being.


Hay, Louise L., Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way To Overcome Them. Hay House, Inc. 1988

Richard J. Davidson, PhD; Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD; Jessica Schumacher,MS; Melissa Rosenkranz, BA; Daniel Muller, MD, PhD; Saki F. Santorelli, EDD; Ferris Urbanowski, MA; Anne Harrington, PhD; Katherine Bonus, MA; and John F. Sheridan, PhD: "Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by
Mindfulness Meditation". Psychosomatic Medicine, 65:564-570 2003.

Sheldon Cohen, PHD; Cuneyt M. Alper, MD; William J. Doyle, PHD; John J. Treanor, MD; and Ronald B. Turner, MD: "Positive Emotional Style Predicts Resistance To Illness After Experimental Exposure To Rhinovirus or Influenza A Virus". Psychosomatic Medicine, 68:809-815, 2006.